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Since Esperanto is a constructed language, many people may be wondering why learn it, so it will probably be helpful to have a canonical question about this problem. I've created such a question, and sure enough, it attracted different opinions, so I decided to ask a question here on Meta: should such canonical question exist? If so, how to organize it and the answers?

Here's what I think about it.

Yes, we need this question

  • Those who aren't sure whether to learn Esperanto or not might be glad to find the exact question they were thinking about (and, more importantly, the answers to it) here, on Esperanto Language SE.
  • Those who've just started learning Esperanto might also be interested in this subject.
  • It would be great to share different opinions in an organized manner and vote for the most reasonable ones.

How to organize the answers

The formatting & organization should be the same for each answer to this question. Each answer should contain only one reason and explanations. If you think there are more reasons which haven't been mentioned already, add a new answer.

To my mind, an answer should begin with the reason statement, formatted as a heading. For example:

##Esperanto is easy to learn

The first paragraph of the answer's body should explain how the above-mentioned reason could be the answer to the question in general (for example, 'X' will make learning foreign languages easier, 'Y' may help you socialize better, etc). It should probably have some links and citations proving that this is actually a good reason to learn Esperanto.

The second (optional) paragraph may contain the author's personal experiences concerning only the main theme of the answer.

What do you think about these ideas? Any suggestions1 and criticisms are welcome.


1. For example, I'm not sure how to properly tag this question (the one on the main site, not this one). Do you have any ideas?

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I think we need a tag about reasons to learn, as everybody can have a different personal situation. So e.g. why to learn as an English speaker, why to learn when you are very young, why to learn if you are a language lover etc. I think having one big question risks to put those details on the side. I know myself and several others who just got into Esperanto because we failed at other languages for example (now I speak 11) and reasons can be really diverse and change. We should be able to permit to let this grow, and profit from the experience from the different viewpoints. Maybe make the policy "make your question detailed enough" in this case, e.g. "I am a ... and I heard about Esperanto because of ..., why should I learn it?". Other than that having a question marked as canonical can be good, but as soon as we have some good answers and don't lock it down until we are out of private beta...

Example bad question:

  • Why should I learn Esperanto?

Example good question:

  • What are the positive and negative points of Esperanto for a linguistics student?
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    This sounds more like something that could work well in a discussion forum, but sharing personal advice like what you are talking about is usually not a good fit for Stack Exchange sites. The Q&A model works best for objectively answerable questions. – Nathaniel is protesting Aug 25 '16 at 14:05
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    Yes, Stack Exchange is for objectively answerable questions, where a definitive answer is possible. It is not for sharing opinions. – kiamlaluno Aug 25 '16 at 14:09
  • I don't mean personal advice. I just think that we need to cater for the different categories of people that could learn Esperanto. I do think objectively answerable questions are easier this way, an objective answer with only one question seems very hard to get right to me. Also this is a big thing with Esperanto, unlike a lot of other SEs. – LaPingvino Aug 28 '16 at 12:05
  • Just added an example to my answer. – LaPingvino Aug 28 '16 at 12:07
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Having a canonical question for this subject is a good idea, because it's bound to come up.

Requiring a specific answer format that is different (or more specific/limited) from what we expect from answers to other questions on Esperanto Language SE will be difficult to communicate and hard/impossible to enforce. (And I don't even know whether enforcing/requiring it would be covered by the rules of this site.)

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